- Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim
The social activist – Jack Rai’s agitation over the alleged illegal encroachment of Sikkim’s forest land by a pharmaceutical company at Namchi district of South Sikkim gained traction after civil society members and organizations converged on the District Administration Centre (DAC) protest site to show their support and solidarity.
Representatives from a variety of organizations, including – Sikkimey Nagarik Samaj (SNS), Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum Social Activist, and the Sikkim Suraksha Samiti, visited the DAC’s agitation site on Sunday.
The member of Sikkimey Nagarik Samaj (SNS) – Pasang Sherpa after meeting with the protesters shared “They have been protesting for the 9th day, and if they are not correct, they will be arrested for raising a fault issue, but this proves that the issue stated by Jack Rai and his team is valid.”
He also stated of “visiting the Forest Office to gain a better understanding of the real situation and their perspective. We’ve also seen the government’s lack of accountability, with two key ministries, Forestry and Commerce and Industry, keeping silent to this point. Despite the fact that these two agencies are culpable and should be held accountable, and acted as silent spectators.”
“We are here to support Jack Rai and team, and we will extend all possible assistance from our side.” – informed the social activist – Nawin Kiran Pradhan.
Jack Rai shared “We are grateful for the assistance of social activists and organizations, and we will discuss the next steps with them and act as per their recommendations.”
While Prawin Sharma from SPYF shared “we are astounded by the Forest Minister’s response, in which he claims that no one has come to take the issue seriously, despite the fact that the issue has been discussed on all social media platforms for several days, and we also have proof that, according to an RTI report, 2.51 acres of land have been illegally occupied by IPCA Pharmaceutical, which was surveyed by DFO.”